Geologic Field Methods I
at Fort Lewis College

Implementor(s): Kim Hannula
Enrollment: 19
Anticipated Start Date: 8/29/11 (Semester)

Challenges to using math in sophomore geoscience courses

Students come into our geology major with a wide range of math skills. If we want them to make use of the math courses that are required for the major, we need to integrate quantitative skills into the courses for geology majors as well as into introductory courses. TMYN provides opportunities to let some students review skills without using class time. This is especially important for a field-based course, which doesn't have much classroom time available.

More about your geoscience course

This is a sophomore level course for geology majors. The course meets one day a week for four hours, and teaches the first two credit hours of field mapping. It is a pre-requisite to Structural Geology, Stratigraphy and Sedimentology, and Geomorphology, and has a pre/co-requisite of algebra.

Inclusion of quantitative content pre-TMYN

The course has a math pre/co-requisite (which doesn't emphasize the skills that the students need most). Students work in the field with maps with a variety of scales, need to be able to convert units in the field, and need to use some concepts from geometry (especially angles, both compass directions and inclinations).

Which Math You Need Modules will/do you use in your course?

  • Unit Conversions
  • Map scales
  • Rearranging equations

Strategies for successfully implementing The Math You Need

  • Pre-test due online by Friday of the first week of class
  • Modules due before class/lab when the project includes appropriate content
  • Modules:

Week 2: Pace and compass mapping (unit conversion)
Week 5: First geologic mapping exercise (map scale)
Week 7: Geologic cross-sections (map scale; rearranging equations)

  • Final assessment same as pre-assessment (but graded), due last week of semester

Reflections and Results (after implementing)


Syllabus: GEOL 202, Geologic Field Methods I (Microsoft Word 47kB Jul27 11)
Syllabus: GEOL 202, Geologic Field Methods (2011) (Microsoft Word 47kB Jul29 11)